Thursday, August 25, 2011

Pregnancy Progression--with Pics

Yesterday marked the end of my 20th week of pregnancy.   I can't believe I am halfway through it already.  I also thought this little girl was done giving me morning sickness, but Sunday was one of the worst days of morning sickness this entire pregnancy.  I had the full-blown all day nausea and vomiting.  But, there have been 3-4 really good days in between each bad day of morning sickness lately, so I really can't complain.  With Luke, morning sickness subsided around 12 weeks.  So, this pregnancy is definitely different!

So far, this little girl is not quite as active as Luke was, but she still makes her presence known with her kicks and spinning around in there.  I started feeling her inside around 15 weeks and on the outside around 18 weeks.  I knew Luke was going to be extremely energetic based on his constant movement in utero--I thought he was going to come out running at delivery.  So, I am hoping this means our little girl will balance Luke out well.  :-)  Luke has enough energy for the entire family!

I also think our little girl is going to weigh a little more than Luke did at birth.  Here are some belly bump pictures (from my pregnancy with Luke and with our little girl).  I started at the exact same weight and size on both pregnancies, so it is a pretty good comparison.  My weight is about the same as it was this time with Luke, but I feel like she is already up under my ribs.  Maybe it is just my imagination.  

Current Pregnancy--11 weeks
Current Pregnancy--20 weeks

Pregnancy with Luke--20 weeks
In order to prepare Luke for getting a little sister, I bought a little baby doll for him at Ross last week.   Luke has been very interested in babies since we told him there was one growing in my belly.  Everytime we go to the store, he wants to see the baby dolls.   Drew wasn't exactly excited when I told him I bought our son a baby doll, but I thought it would be good preparation, and something we could give our little girl later.  Luke has been so gentle and loving with the baby doll.   He rubs her head, gives her the pacifier, sings her songs and reads her books.  It is so precious!   Luke is really such a sweet-hearted little guy.  Here is a picture of him telling the baby doll all about some cars on a toy package:

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Boy or Girl?

A couple of weeks ago I called the nurse at my OB/GYN office to let her know of something that was going on with me (I will spare you the TMI).  I called around lunchtime, thinking she would give me some sort of advice like, "you just need to take it easy," or "monitor it and if you see XYZ, then call us back."  But, instead, they wanted me to come in two hours later for an exam.  During the physical exam, the doctor thought everything looked fine, but wanted to send me to an Ultrasound just to rule everything out (due to the issues I was having).  I was by myself, as Drew was watching Luke.  I actually had the 20-week full anatomy ultrasound scheduled for just a week and a half later (on 8/22) and my parents were even coming down to visit to coincide with the appointment.   My mom and Drew were planning on attending the Ultrasound (two adults are allowed) and my dad offered to watch Luke, since small children were not allowed.

When I arrived to the Ultrasound suite, the technologist informed me that since they were going to need to do a full-anatomy ultrasound that day, I would not be able to have my normal 20-week ultrasound as scheduled.  She said I would need to reschedule it for a few weeks later, as they do not like to do them that close together.  I felt so badly that my parents would not get to have their trip coincide with that appointment.  The technologist also asked me if I wanted to find out the sex of the baby.  I told her, "Yes, we definitely want to know, but I was really hoping that my husband could be present at the Ultrasound when we found out."  Concerned about what was going on inside, I cautiously watched as she examined my placenta, cervix and the baby's anatomy via Ultrasound.  When she whipped the wand down to the bottom, the sex of the baby was instantly obvious.   This baby sleeps just like Luke still does--with its arms and knees tucked under its abdomen and bottom up in the air.   The baby happened to be in this very position, and it was quite obvious that it was.........A GIRL!  I didn't know that it would be so obvious if the baby was a girl, but it definitely was!

When I got home, Drew asked Luke what was in mommy's belly.   Luke responded by saying very clearly one of the girls' names that we have discussed using.   Luke is certain that is what the baby should be called.   So, I will cautiously announce on here what Luke thinks the baby should be named.  Of course, Luke never likes to perform on camera or in front of people other than us, so he said the name that he likes in his own time.  Therefore, you will notice the video has been edited a bit.

So, there you have it.  One of the girls' names that we like is Abbey--not Abigail, just Abbey.    This is just one of several that we like, but it is, so far, the one we like best.  Our only concern is that my online research shows that Abigail is in the top 7 of baby girl names for 2011.  And, I am guessing a majority of those little girls will go by "Abby".  We just don't want our girl to have to be identified as "Abbey W" by her friends, due to all of the other Abbys in her class. But, so far, that is the standout name for us and it just seems to fit.   Luke likes it too!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

A Visit from Jeremy, Brandy and Traber

This past weekend, we had a lot of fun with my brother, Jeremy, sister-in-law, Brandy and nephew, Traber.  Traber is only one month younger than Luke, so they had a BLAST together.  They are like two peas in a pod!   Every morning when Luke would wake up, the first thing he would say is, "Traber?"  Of course, Luke was very sad that they had to leave and has been asking about Traber all night.  Poor little guy.

Here is a little picture journal of our weekend adventures together.

We went to an awesome Bounce place that is free for kids under two.  Luke loves the slide.

We also went to the Austin Children's Museum.   Luke loved experimenting with making things roll.

Of course, their favorite stop at the museum was the train table.

There was even a space in the middle of the table you could crawl into to have a different angle to play.
Then we went to an awesome new splash pad!

Luke LOVED it and didn't want to leave!

Jeremy found a rock wall there and had to test it out.

The adjoining sand pit was a hit too!

Especially with the water dam that another kid created with the sand.  It made a little sand pool.

We even had fun in the water in our own backyard!

about to get splashed!
Click here to view more pictures from the weekend.

A Visit to the Kiddie Park--Luke's first "Rides"

While Drew was in Portland, OR for a conference, Luke and I visited my family in Oklahoma.
We really enjoyed spending time with my family, and, of course, Luke LOVED playing with his Oklahoma cousins every day.   On Saturday before we flew back home, my family decided to take a trip to the Kiddie Park in Bartlesville, OK.  What a GREAT place for little kids!  Luke, who is not even two, could ride almost every single ride there!  And, I love that most of the rides just cost one ticket (some cost 2); the tickets are only $.25 each!   I didn't get pictures of it, but Luke rode the train a couple of times.  Twenty-five cents for a train ride is cheap fun! For $4, Luke had an evening full of fun with his cousins.  I really wasn't surprised at all that Luke wanted to ride every single ride in the park.  He is such a fearless little boy.

We started out riding the boats.  There was no seatbelt though.  I thought Luke might not try to get out of the boat if he rode beside his big cousin, Brody.  However, I was wrong.  Luke tried to get out of the boat after the first round, but luckily Brody helped keep him in the boat.  Thank you Brody!

Luke loved the swings!  Kaylee is in front of him and he is looking back at Lilly.

Of course, Luke wanted to drive the car that looked like Thomas the Train.

Here is Luke's cousin, Traber, on the John Deere tractor (and Lilly is behind him)

Linnea is concentrating on her driving skills.

Luke and Grandma rode the carousel--what an awesome carousel for 25 cents!

Luke also rode with my cousin Kristin's nephew, Trent, on a horse and carriage.

The whole gang rode together on a little roller coaster.  Fearless Luke and Kaylee took the front car.

Luke and Kaylee got a little scared--it was a pretty rough ride.  Thank you, Jason, for protecting Luke.

Friday, August 5, 2011

New Discoveries

Today I discovered that Luke knew how to do something that I did not know he knew how to do.  First, I should explain that we have a bottom-freezer refrigerator, and the door is pretty heavy:

Today, Luke walked over to it, pulled the freezer drawer open and grabbed two popsicles.  He did it like it was something he does every day.  Of course, I had to laugh!    Then, I had him choose one, and he thoroughly enjoyed it.


Tray-lickin' good.  Not wasting any bit of this popsicle! 

Flying on an Airpline by Yourself with 21 month old Boy

Warning--this is a long post, but an experience I want to document in our "journal".  When Luke was 11 months old, we took a wonderful vacation to Seattle, Washington as a family.   Drew and I were really nervous about how it would go--how would Luke be on the airplane, how would he be not having his normal naps, how would he like eating out at restaurants every day?    Much to our surprise, Luke was the perfect traveler.  And actually, we really shouldn't have been surprised, because he always has been a great traveler on our car road trips.   But, you hear so much about how difficult it is with children on airplanes, that we were definitely anxious about that.

During the last week in July, Drew had a work conference scheduled in Portland, OR.  So, rather than taking care of Luke by myself here, Drew suggested I spend some time with my family in Oklahoma.  He and I both thought it would be best (and safest) to fly there instead of spending 7+ hours driving there by myself with Luke. I have to admit when I saw the 2 hour and 15 minute flight time versus the 7+ hour drive time, it was definitely more appealing.  Plus, Luke travels free on flights until he is two.  So, it was set, I would fly to Tulsa and spend the week there with Luke while Drew was in Portland.   Piece of cake!

I had no idea what I was in for.  Again, I am blogging about this because I want to remember this the next time I decide flying with a young toddler by myself is a good idea.  Traveling by yourself with an energetic toddler boy is not easy, to say the least.  Our flight was scheduled to depart for our connection in Dallas (where we had to change planes) at 4:15pm.  So, we arrived to the airport by 3:30pm.  Unfortunately, though, there was over an hour delay for this flight.  So, I entertained Luke while we also tried to grab a quick bite to eat so that he would not be hungry on the plane.  His normal dinner time is around 5:30 or so.   Somehow, this time went by pretty quickly, and as we were eating I looked up to notice they were already getting on the plane.  So, we didn't get to go in our normal Southwest boarding order (we were originally near the end of group A), and I now had a bag of food along with my large diaper bag, camera bag and stroller (with Luke in it) to get onto the plane.  We finally made it onto the plane and got situated in our window seat at the back of the plane (with Luke seated on my lap), and the largest passenger boarding the plane decided to sit next to us (and partially on us).  He was a very nice guy, but I just wasn't expecting him to choose to sit in a seat next to one with two passengers on one side.   Luke didn't understand what was going on.   I then began entertaining Luke.  It is not easy to keep an energetic little 21 month old still in your lap for long periods of time.  I pulled out every trick in the book for this flight.  Worried about how his ears might be affected, I even pulled out his pacifier (which he only gets during nap times now).  Luke was fine until we got above the clouds, and I explained to him how we were so high up above the clouds.  He then said to me, "All done!" repeatedly.  Unfortunately, we had about 40 minutes left in this flight.  He got extremely scared to be that far up into the sky and really didn't understand what was going on.  Then, the nice man beside me pulled up a fun kids game game on his IPad that entertained Luke for quite a while.  AND THEN....we began our descent to Dallas.  We had about 15-20 more minutes left in the flight until we landed and Luke began screaming hysterically at the top of his lungs (believe me, this is very loud). Then, he also began kicking and jumping onto the floor and onto the man beside me.   I have never seen Luke act like this in his entire life.   It was like he was in terrible pain and I had no idea how to fix it.  I hate being out of control like this.  I tried EVERYTHING to calm him down.  He already had his pacifier in, so I tried to give him some water.  He threw that so I pulled out a squeezable fruit treat that he normally loves--he squeezed that all over us both.  I spoke very calmly to him...I explained what was happening....I sang songs to him....nothing worked.  I asked the guy next to me (who had told me earlier he had three kids) if he had suggestions.  But, he just looked at me with a fake smile that attempted to cover his upset face and shook his head, "no."  I was so embarrassed, felt so badly for the other passengers, and felt like a terrible mother for not being able to calm Luke down.   I tried ABSOLUTELY everything.  I obviously couldn't get out of my seat and walk around with him since we were descending.  Then, 15 minutes later, we landed and Luke instantly stopped screaming and acting in that way.  Poor little guy--it had to be his ears that hurt so extremely badly due to the air pressure during the descent, which was also very scary for him.  He is still so young that he can't communicate well enough to explain what is hurting him or what he is scared about.  His normal reaction is to cry loudly.  As we began deplaning, I felt like I needed to stand up and give a big apology speech to the entire plane.   I apologized to everyone near me.  Then, when it was our turn to exit the plane, we quietly exited the plane as quickly as we could.

Luke and I went straight to the restroom.  There was a line there and several of the women asked if he was the one on the plane screaming.   I felt my face get warm, turning bright red and just replied, "Yes, it was him--I tried everything to calm him down and felt completely out of control of the situation."  One nice lady just sympathized with me and with Luke, saying, "Poor little guy, he probably had water on his ears or something and was in a lot of pain.  It probably really scared him."  Then several other women relayed similar stories with their children.  It made me feel so much better.  But, I heard a couple of women in the back of the line making remarks about how painful the ride was (I'm guessing they don't have children).

When we exited the restroom Drew called me and I just broke down crying.  It was probably a combination of being pregnant and having an extreme amount of stress.  But, I asked for lots of prayers for the next flight from Dallas to Tulsa, hoping for a peaceful flight and that Luke's ears would not bother him.   I also prayed a lot during our layover time in Dallas (our flight was delayed another hour).  This next flight went so much better.  I think Luke was worn out from running around the airport, from crying and screaming for 15 minutes on the previous flight and because it was getting close to his bedtime.   He kept his pacifier in during the descent, I sang to him in a soft voice, and the pressure didn't seem to bother him at all.  It was 8:45pm when we arrived to my parents' house.  Considering we left our house to go to the airport around 3pm, this ended up being a five hour and 45 minute trip with a lot of stress.  Thinking back, maybe driving would have been easier.  But when you are a female traveling alone with a small child, you also have to think about what is safest. It was definitely a great learning and growing experience for me though.  I was able to remain calm during a very stressful situation and had some personal growth by being forced into a situation that seemed completely out of my control for what seemed like hours.

We had a wonderful time with my family while we were there and Luke did a great job on the flight back home.  I will be posting some pics of our trip there in Tulsa in another post.  But, I really feel my experience traveling along by plane with a toddler was such a great learning opportunity for me that I feel like I could write a "helpful hints" when traveling by plane with a toddler article.  I wanted to at least document it here before I forgot, so I can refer back to this next time I try to do this!

For anyone who is on a flight with a child who is crying loudly, please be understanding.  It is very likely that the parent or parents are trying everything in their power to calm their child down.  And, the poor little child is not likely simply misbehaving, but may just be in severe pain and not understand what is going on.  Believe me, no one wants to be in that type of situation.  I know how it made me feel so much better when those moms in the bathroom relayed their similar situations, empathized me and really encouraged me.

Happy to finally be at our destination, here is Luke, and his cousin, Traber, sitting in Grandpa's lap watching "choo-choos" on the laptop.